04-27-2017 Hartford Public Schools adopts new middle school math program; Watervliet Rod & Gun

Hartford Public Schools adopts new middle school math program

By Nancy Albright

At the Hartford Public Schools Board of Education meeting on April 20 the board approved the adoption of the Eureka Math Program, which HPS plans to begin implementing during the 2017-2018 academic year.

Eureka is a new method of teaching K-5 math that involves a series of modules designed to provide students with alternative methods of arriving at the correct answers. The technique is designed to teach students to solve math problems by learning how numbers work, rather than relying on traditional memorization to work through equations.

Math instructors will participate in a comprehensive training program over the next two years to apply the method and continually improve teaching practices. There will also be a Title 1 teacher onsite to help with program implementation.

School Superintendent Andy Hubbard stated that, “Hartford is dedicated to the success of this program.” Eight other district schools will be implementing Eureka, which will give Hartford an opportunity to collaborate with these schools to best utilize the program. A national shift in testing is currently in progress and schools that have already implemented Eureka are reporting increased test scores.”

Woodside Elementary art students recognized by Board of Education

 Hartford Public Schools Art Educator Mrs. Julie Jacobusse presented Woodside Elementary art students Aydan Unrath, Livia Polus, Ahaliah McCoy and Regan Gray with Certificates of Appreciation in art at Thursday night’s meeting.

Mrs. Jacobusse created the Red Arrow and Woodside Elementary Art Club for students interested in producing art and sharing ideas and experiences with other art students, schoolmates and the community. Students work in a variety of media, including painting, drawing, paper-mache, sculpture, and oil pastels, and Mrs. Jacobusse designs projects to teach budding artists about the fundamental principles of art.

A piece of artwork created by each of the four students honored now hangs in the HPS Board Room. School Superintendent Andy Hubbard congratulated each student on their fine work, and thanked Mrs. Jacobusse saying that, “There are many fine pieces of work coming out of the art program.”

Reproductive Health curriculum revises language

 Middle School Principal Joel Messenger requested on behalf of the HPS Reproductive Health Advisory Board that the school board approve revised language to answer questions asked by students that are not addressed by the reproductive health course curriculum.

Puberty: The Wonder Years is the Michigan model curriculum used to teach middle school students about reproductive health. Reproductive Health instructor Nicole Nelson explained to the board that the curriculum does not address “locker room questions” and she feels she is doing a disservice to students when they present her with misinformation that they have learned outside the classroom.

When asked by the board if she is comfortable with questions asked she said that she is comfortable with all of the questions, but doesn’t answer all of them because they are not addressed by the course materials.

The board voted to allow professional discretion to Miss Nelson to answer questions, and approved revised language based on Principal Messenger’s recommendation. The school plans to send a note home with students that will allow parents to opt their children out of the class if they wish.

New teacher joins HPS faculty

 Miss Stephanie Hallgren will join the HPS staff in the 2017-2018 school year as the ESL Migrant Teacher and Coordinator. Miss Hallgren, a former Spanish instructor, comes from the Three Rivers Community School System. Superintendent Hubbard said that Miss Hallgren’s passion for her work was apparent to the selection committee and that, “Miss Hallgren understands the community and the population, and is a natural fit for HPS. We look forward to working with her in the upcoming school year.”

Red Arrow Elementary school building considered as future community center

Superintendent Hubbard announced that the Hartford Public Library board toured the Red Arrow Elementary school building last week as a possible site to relocate the ever-growing library collection and services, and that members of the Van Buren County Senior Services Center will tour the building this week.

The site is under consideration by various area organizations as a possible site for a community center after the building is vacated at the end of the 2017-2018 school year